Garden Valley Center for the Arts has now been celebrating their 4th year as a centerpiece of artistic culture in a very rustic, laid back town. So many artists locally and throughout Idaho, Oregon and Montana have come to showcase their different abilities. From blown glass to the exquisite paintings to photography, the community of Garden Valley has been treated with viewing talented artistic works.
Since the beginning, Lois Heffernan has been the curator of the art shows for the gallery. Her husband, David Bagnard, often by her side, searched for the art that would be pleasing to the visitors. Bringing quality shows to the gallery was her mission. Through many artist contacts and visiting other galleries, Lois found she could invite many artists who were pleased to showcase their work in a rural gallery. This meant more eyes on their work and shared with a community of people that would have not otherwise seen their accomplishments.
A step into the gallery and one would find the monthly posters lining the wall, displaying the history of each new monthly show. The four years of posters are placed as a memory of the variety of galas and shows the community enjoyed. Now as Lois steps down as curator, fulfilling that dream of creating an artist hub, the baton is now out there for someone else to receive. The GVCA is actively looking for someone to step in a new curator who can gather up more artists for upcoming shows. This will be vital to help continue the future of the gallery.
In the meantime, there is a changing of the guard with board members. As always, new members bring fresh ideas and plans for an organization. Billie DaVolt will be the new President, Greg Simione- Vice President, Christine Clark – Secretary, and Linda Tuley – Treasurer. Members-at-Large are Marla Egerton, Edie Nelson, and Gail White. Many of these people have already been serving the GVCA in different capacities.
Over four years ago, there was not an Art Center in town. But because of the GVCA, they have brought in more culture to Garden Valley for those seeking art events. This included starting an art education program at the Garden Valley School. Greg Simione said, “Who would have known during those original meetings several years ago that an Art Center would truly come to life celebrating local artists while bringing quality visual and performing arts to Garden Valley.”
The Gallery and its people work to bring events, book readings, dancing and local art participation. The school art education includes pottery, painting and fused glass works. Simione explains that the GVCA program also supplements the music program and elementary art classes provided by the in-house school staff. Students are introduced to various art techniques with the curriculum growing. More students are becoming interested in art, too.
The art shows and opening galas are all free to the public, as well as other community performances through the year. The gallery financial support runs off generous donations and the annual GVCA membership fees. Gallery hosts volunteer time to keep the gallery open on weekends so that people can wander through the gallery and the gift shop, which is full of unique items that are handmade by local artisans.
Written by Janet Juroch